Youth and Music Holland

Youth and Music Holland is a division of the worldwide network JMI, Jeunesse Musicales International. Over 45 nations are part of it. Our goal is to develop diverse cultural activities aimed specifically at young musicians and a young audience. Festivals, summer programmes, courses, and concerts are all tools for reaching this goal.

On Sunday October 8 last, the group Liyana from Zimbabwe ( gave a concert in the town hall of Amsterdam and thereby festively kicked off the new Youth and Music foundation Holland.

It is a new foundation, but one that carries a name already in use for many decades and is well-known in both Holland and the international music world. It came into being after the ending of WWII when Belgium and Luxemburg initiated ‘Youth and Music’. By bringing youths in contact with music, either actively as a musician or passively as a spectator, the founders wished to make a contribution in creating and maintaining world peace. The Netherlands soon embraced this idea and joined the international music organisation Jeunesses Musicales International (JMI - By now, nearly fifty countries have become members of JMI.

The foundation of Youth and Music Holland developed rapidly: various local divisions were set up. Although initially there was a focus on classical music, soon there arose divisions that aimed to produce modern sounds, like the Youth and Music Zealand division, from which the New Music Festival originated, and the Youth and Music Amsterdam division that focussed among other things on improvised music, pop music, and school concerts.
Various national projects were also set up; take the National Youth Orchestra and the Riccioti Ensemble for instance. In the early Eighties the national association was dissolved for varied reasons. Nevertheless, projects like the NYO and Riciotti were continued with great success.

Youth and Music Amsterdam was restyled into the JAM foundation in the Seventies. Its goals have widened ever since: its activities now span across youth and music reaching out to all age groups and as many art disciplines as is possible (see

Until recently, not JAM, but a separate organisation maintained contact between JMI and the Netherlands. When contact petered out, JMI’s board requested that the JAM foundation explore the possibilities for founding a new organisation in the Netherlands. This organisation was both to maintain, organise, and coordinate contacts and projects internationally, and initiate and arrange projects and activities on a national level.
It was this request that lead to starting up Youth and Music Holland

 What does Youth and Music envision?

The Netherlands offer a great deal of musical activities to its youth. Many children and adolescents attend music schools, play in ensembles, participate in drum bands, brass bands, or sing in choirs. It holds a great number of youth orchestras - headed by the internationally operating National Youth Orchestra - that cater to a wide range of audiences. There are thousands of pop musicians who rehearse in basements and garages. The various music academies Holland counts are of international renown and fortunately there is a growing interest in primary and secondary education for music in the curriculum. There is much happening already, then. But Youth and Music believes it can add to that, working by the following three pillars:


Although many activities will need further processing, mostly in consultation with other organisations, below you will find a number that are currently already under construction:
  • Imagine Festival
    A festival that features youth music groups. All music styles are welcome: from classic to pop, from world music to rap. The festival takes place in an appealing location for a broad audience and is broadcast on television. Leading up to this festival are local preliminary rounds, in association with, say, local music schools.
    An expert jury will judge the groups. Prizes are to be won, like taking part in youth music festivals in Belgium, Sweden, and Africa.
  • Youth & Music Festival
    There exist many (cross-theatrical)music productions aiming for a young audience, shows which are performed in schools, theatres, and concert halls. At the moment, the various impresarios hold presentation days. JAM wants to bundle these presentation days, in the Autumn-break for instance, to ensure that as many groups as possible get a chance to present themselves centrally to both the mainstream audience and customers from educational and cultural institutions. It is an excellent opportunity to meet one another, expand one’s network, and partake in various workshops and lectures. Where initially Dutch groups and productions will be invited, in the future we will also welcome foreign productions. We intend to model our festival after the former Youth Theatre Festival in Den Bosch and the present Flemish Festival Earwax.
  • Tours of winners of the yearly Music Crossroads Southern Africa
    Organising the tours will proceed in close cooperation with Festival Mundial of Tilburg.
    Music Crossroads is a yearly event in southern Africa. Winning groups will tour in Europe and visit the Netherlands.
    The concerts are held in concert halls as well as in primary and secondary schools. In these schools, workshops will be given and educational material will be handed out containing information on Africa and the group’s native country.
  • Around the World in Six Hours
    A pilot project in cooperation with Stockholm, Marseille, Brussels, and Amsterdam.
    Youths from different areas in the city travel to other city areas by public transport and visit local theatres or schools to attend concerts by musicians from that specific area. An example: Kids from the south-east district travel to the Mosaic stage in the western Bos and Lommer district to visit a concert by a Moroccan music group. They traverse the river to the northern district where the Music centre will present them with western music. After this, they head to the Muiderpoort theatre in the city’s eastern part to see a Turkish music group. In the end they head back to their home district to experience a Surinamese band in the Krater theatre, ending their ‘journey around the world’. Previous to their journey, preparatory information will be made available on both the performances and the different cultural backgrounds.
    In short: a musical journey with an introduction to various cultures.
    Groups depart from the different districts. On each day 600 children can participate. At the basis of this day lies the Arts school day, a ‘tour de culture’ for all the twelve year-olds in Amsterdam’s primary schools.


Much can be improved communication-wise: which concerts can be attended and where, which orchestra or choir is looking for reinforcements, when and where will music camps take place, when and where can be participated in national and international auditions for the various orchestras, such as the World Orchestra of Jeunesses Musicales International and the World Youth Choir, etc. etc.
Everyone should have access to this information. This means that various websites for a range of target groups will be created. These sites do not only provide information but also offer a platform for children/youths to share their criticism, comments, and advice with the world.


For all of the above-mentioned projects cooperation on a national and international level is vital. Cooperation on a national level consists in working together with educational institutes, theatres and concert halls, impresarios, music groups and ensembles, festivals, you name it. On a global level, cooperation will be formed between JMI-sister organisations in nearly fifty nations.

Youth and Music foundation Holland
Recht Boomssloot 9 huis
1011 CR Amsterdam
020 - 622 01 83

Youth and Music foundation Holland
Recht Boomssloot 9 huis
1011 CR Amsterdam
020 - 622 01 83